Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Thyssen & Reina Sofia Museums: The Golden Triangle

A small area in the heart of Madrid, called the “Golden Triangle of Art,” holds some of the world’s greatest art treasures. When the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum opened in 1992, Madrid added the second point to its 'Golden Triangle', which also includes the Prado and the Reina Sofía National Museum, with the private collection of the late Baron Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, widely considered the most important in the world. With over 1,600 paintings the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection was once the second largest private collection in the world after the British Royal Collection. The Baron's decision to sell his collection was doubtlessly influenced both by his wife, Carmen 'Tita' Cervera, a former Miss Spain, and by the offer to house the collection in the then-empty Palacio de Villahermosa, an early 19th-century ducal palace that was superbly reconverted by architect Rafael Moneo at fantastic cost. One of the focal points is the early European painting, with a major collection of the 14th and 15th centuries Italian paintings by Duccio, and his contemporaries, and works of the early Flemish and Dutch painters like Jan Van Eyck, Albrecht Dürer, and Hans Holbein. Other highlights include works by the most famous Renaissance and Baroque painters, including Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo, Caravaggio, Rubens, Van Dyck, Murillo and Rembrandt. Also important for the Museum's collection are Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by artists such as Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Vincent Van Gogh, as well as twentieth century masterpieces, such as Cubist work by Picasso or late works by Piet Mondrian and Edward Hopper.

The late Baron Hans-Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza with his vast art collection, widely considered the most important in the world, comprises Madrid's Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

'Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni' by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1489 - 1490

'Self-portrait wearing a Hat and two Chains' by Rembrandt, 1642

'Hotel Room' by Edward Hopper, 1967

Portrait of Henry VIII of England, by Hans Holbein the younger, 1537

Opening its doors to the public in 1992, The Reina Sofía Museum contains a collection dedicated to 20th century and contemporary art, including the world-famous Guernica painted by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The large majority of the works exhibited are the creations of Spanish artists, including some of the most famous names of the past century: Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Joan Miró, as well as artwork by other famous international artists such as Diego Rivera, but also cinema and photography. 

The stunning interior courtyard of the Reina Sofia Museum modern wing

Oiseau lunaire (Moonbird), by Joan Miro from 1946 located in the Sabatini Garden of the Reina Sofia

Calder mobile featuring the colours of the Spanish flag

Equal-Parallel: Guernica-Bengasi was specifically created for the Museo Reina Sofía by Richard Serra, and consists of 4 solid blocks of steel

'Christ of Blood' by Ignacio Zuloagua, Madrid 1945

'Garrotte' by Ramon Casas, Barcelona 1894

'Portrait of Madame Jeanette Gris' by Juan Gris, Madrid 1916

'Los Nacionales' by Juan Antonio Morales, 1937

'Picture' detail by Manuel Millares, Madrid 1957

'Guernica' by Picasso, completed in 1937

Numerous black and white films were playing on screens throughout the Museum such as 'La Guerre e Finie' by Alain Resnals, 1966

Lavapiés bohemian district of Barcelona

The oldest cinema in Madrid built in 1923

Basque beer at Restaurante Achuri, and old Anarchist's bar in the Lavapiés area of Madrid

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